BDSM conjures sinister images of sickening violence in the minds of the unaware. However, it may ironically disturb you to find out that experts believe those who practice it have better mental health than the rest of us!

 

BDSM is one of the most misunderstood sexual lifestyles. When the average unenlightened person visualizes what must occur in a BDSM scenario, usually they imagine the depraved activities described by the Marquis de Sade.

Many people would be surprised to find out that the mental health of those who practice BDSM-related activities is generally quite superior to their “vanilla” counterparts.

 

 

According to a paper published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2013, “several more recent studies suggest a relative good psychological health of BDSM practitioners.

Researchers Andreas Wismeijer and Marcel van Assen set about comparing the mental health of 902 practitioners of BDSM with 434 control participants. They measured each study candidate using the so-called Big Five personality dimensions. Additionally, they tested them for their attachment styles, subjective well-being, and rejection sensitivity.

 

Studies show that mentally healthy people enjoy BDSM and kink

According to the results of the study “BDSM practitioners were less neurotic, more extroverted, more open to new experiences, more conscientious, less rejection sensitive, had higher subjective well-being, yet were less agreeable.

Those in dominant roles scored highest, next were those who preferred submissive roles. Finally, the control group provided the lowest scores.

Humans have been practicing BDSM, and other kinky sexual practices, for millennia. However, society has always ultimately found a way to stigmatize its practitioners. There are accounts of BDSM style practices that date as far back as Mesopotamia.

Many ancient artifacts depict scenes showing BDSM behaviors. Even the Kama Sutra describes acceptable ways to hit one’s partner during sex.

 

 

Practicing BDSM is as old as time itself

It was as early as the 17th century that extremely rare books revealed the existence of professional Dominatrixes. Flagellation brothels would take in aristocratic, political and royal clientele. Many powerful men wished to emulate the fantasy of Aristotle and Phyllis, a famous Renaissance painting.

According to legend, philosopher Aristotle derived pleasure from his student Alexander the Great’s lover Phyllis.

Allegedly, Phyllis demanded that Aristotle “come to my chamber crawling on hand and foot, to carry me like a horse.” According to the historical record, Aristotle complied and became the subject of ridicule. Countless paintings and sculptures have depicted this scene throughout the centuries, even till the modern day.

 

The unambiguous boundaries of BDSM clarify the human condition

It is no surprise that BDSM is a common thread throughout history. After all, practitioners emulate the stark extremes of the core concepts that represent the human condition.

It is these stark extremes that appear to lend themselves to unambiguous boundaries, which unfortunately are lacking in more common “vanilla” human relationships.

BDSM is an umbrella term that covers three types of kinks: B&D is bondage and discipline, D&S is domination and submission, and S&M is sadism and masochism. BDSM is primarily about power dynamics, and specifically about role-playing these in pre-arranged agreements.

Unfortunately, the recent book and film 50 Shades of Grey perpetuated many myths about BDSM. Many practitioners have spoken against the novel. 

They state how the author had nil to inadequate knowledge of the lifestyle. Additionally, they believe that the protagonists were not in a real BDSM relationship.

 

 

Since the dawn of time, power and lust have been entwined

Humans, as well as other living creatures, demonstrate pecking orders, or hierarchies. The very nature of lust, desire and hunger can become predatory, due to its source in the reptilian part of every living creatures brain.

Therefore humankind has sought to find ways to explore this part of their nature with their more advanced prefrontal cortex.

 

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